Oakville takes systematic approach to priority requests from both governments

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Published March 30, 2022 at 4:25 pm

The need to expand capacity at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and fund the 123 beds and three operating rooms is among the Town of Oakville's top priority intergovernmental requests. INSAUGA PHOTO

More beds and operating rooms at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH), full electrification of the transit fleet and a new courthouse are among the Town of Oakville’s top priority requests from both levels of government.

Oakville Council approved a motion at their recent meeting that sees a more systematic approach taken to focus and align intergovernmental requests to Town priorities.

In an effort to advance the Town’s needs, especially around infrastructure funding, and policy and regulatory frameworks, activities to further intergovernmental relations are required.

The Town’s request were identified or reaffirmed from the five areas of focus from the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan Refresh: Livability, Engaged Community, Accountable Government, Mobility and Environment.

“I’ve always wanted us to do this,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said at Monday’s council meeting. “We do this at the Region of Halton and I think it’s very important, especially now that we have an election in front of us that we know what we’re hoping the various candidates for office need to know what the Town wants and needs.”

Town staff identified 18 specific areas for priority requests, including the need for more beds and operating rooms at OTMH.

Burton said he recently raised the “urgent need” to expand capacity at the hospital and fund 123 more beds and three operating rooms at the 2022 Ontario Budget consultations.

Outlined below, these priorities are connected to the town’s vision, strategic plan, official plan, and other key pieces, as follows:

Livability

  • Midtown Oakville – To request the Province’s commitment to building the required infrastructure improvements (Royal Windsor and Trafalgar Interchange) for Midtown and expansion of Oakville GO Station to east of Trafalgar Road.
  • Auto Industry – To review MPAC’s methodology for manufacturing plants and related impacts on competitiveness. And on electric vehicles (EV) to: join advocacy efforts of the Ontario Auto Mayors to address threats from proposed EV incentives in the US; consider EV incentives in Ontario; improve consumer confidence for EV adoption by requiring common standards and regulations, e.g. for EV charging stations; and work with municipalities to develop shovel-ready land for EV supply chain investment.
  • Bronte Harbour – To request the Province to release its reversionary interest in the Bronte Harbour lands, so the Federal Government can proceed with the disposition of the lands to the Town.
  • Community Infrastructure – To build schools at an appropriate funding level as development requires, particularly elementary/high schools in North Oakville. To build a new courthouse in Oakville to address increased caseloads. To expand Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital to address growing health care needs.

Accountable Government

COVID-19 Recovery – To request the province to provide additional supports and resources on an ongoing basis to address revenue losses and additional expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital Infrastructure – To request the Province to:

  • Ensure that incremental investments in broadband from other orders of government are made in urban areas and directed to fill gaps in the GTHA.
  • Identify provincially owned fibre assets that can be leveraged to help close the digital divide – such as schools, hospitals and traffic corridors.
  • Amend Section 41 (Site Plan Approval) and Section 51 (Subdivision Approval) of the Planning Act to embed internet connectivity as a requirement for all development.
  • To request the Government of Canada to:
  • Ensure that incremental investments in broadband from other orders of government are made in urban areas and directed to fill gaps in the GTHA.
  • Declare high-speed internet as an essential service, including a definition for affordability that combines fixed and mobile costs as a percentage of household income.
  • Collect and share local level data on assets, internet speeds, and service terminations/collection activities, in cooperation with internet service providers (ISPs).  Enable municipalities to more easily promote access to their fibre for public and private services by requesting the CRTC to define municipal entities as a special class of carrier subject to conditional exemptions under the Telecommunications Act.
  • Courts: To restore municipal fine revenues by requesting that the Province commit sufficient judicial resources to address the backlog of cases and implement regulatory changes to provide for the efficient collection of fines.
  • Taxation: To request the Province to modernize legislation related to: adjusting the Municipal HST rebate from the current amount of 78% to 100%; and provincial land ownership charges, such as payment-in-lieu of taxes and airport revenue, to align with the cost of delivering municipal infrastructure and services.
  • Financial Tools: To request the Province to provide a 1-per-cent sales tax for municipalities.

Mobility

  • Kerr Street Grade Separation: As an essential infrastructure that needs to be in place prior to the electrification of the Lakeshore West Line, that the Town request the Province to reinstate the Kerr Street grade separation project, honour their commitment to the costsharing arrangement, and work with staff to identify cost-saving measures as a way to move forward.
  • Burloak Drive Grade Separation: To request the Province to honour their commitment to the cost-sharing arrangement for the Burloak Grade Separation Project. And work with staff to identify potential savings as the project proceeds.
  • Transit: To provide continued transit infrastructure and funding to support population and employment growth, reduce gridlock, connect communities, and improve people’s access to jobs, housing, health care and education. That the following are endorsed as the Town of Oakville’s priority transit initiatives:
  1. Transit Fleet Electrification
  2. Trafalgar Bus Rapid Transit
  3. Dundas Bus Rapid Transit
  4. Palermo Transit Terminal
  5. Midtown including Oakville GO modifications
  6. Regional Express Rail on the Lakeshore West line
  7. Enhanced and Expanded On Demand Transit Services
  8. Neyagawa and 407 Transit Station
  • To request that the Fare and Service Integration Table (hosted by MTO), provide financial support on service integration between municipalities and address governance related issues such as regional transit.
  • Automated Speed Enforcement: To make our neighbourhoods safer by: the inclusion of the authority for municipalities to establish fees in a bylaw to be added to the amount of the administrative penalty; increasing resources at the Joint Processing Centre; and increasing funding to municipalities to participate.

ENVIRONMENT

  • Electric Buses: To continue to provide funding for electrification of transit fleet/equipment to mitigate climate change impacts.
    Green Buildings: To request the Province to incentivize building retrofits and to update the Building Code to reflect a shift to Net Zero
    standards.
    Rainwater Management: To continue to provide flood mitigation funding to improve stormwater infrastructure that will increase
    resiliency against frequent severe rain storms, and protect the environment from harmful pollutants entering Lake Ontario.
    Glenorchy: To explore with Conservation Halton and Halton Region initiating the implementation of the Glenorchy Management Plan
    and any interim steps to limit access to the preserve.
    Expansion of the Greenbelt: To include the urban river valley system.
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